Kino Lorber is pleased to announce that it has concluded an agreement to acquire renowned distributor Artsploitation Films from its owner and president Ray Murray. Mr. Murray and other members of his team will remain involved to help grow the business as a division and brand of Kino Lorber.
Created in 2014 by Murray, formerly the founder and head of TLA Entertainment Group, Artsploitation releases bold international genre and cutting edge specialty films that push the boundaries of traditional art house cinema. Their intriguing mix of movies include international thrillers, controversial horror, stylish erotica, award-winning LGBTQ dramas and offbeat future cult classics.
Notable library titles include Kim Yong-hoon’s critically-acclaimed South Korean crime thriller Beast Clawing at Straws, Sebastián Muñoz’s Queer Lion award-winning prison drama The Prince, Maja Milo’s controversial Clip which shocked festivals around the world, Dutch Berlinale winner Sacha Polak’s Hemel, and Craig Anderson’s Red Christmas, a festive slasher starring Dee Wallace. Upcoming new releases will be led by Stelios Kammitsis’ touching story of self-discovery The Man with the Answers, Gem Deger’s absurdly twisted and visually stunning Playdurizm, and Sam Quah’s gripping box-office smash Sheep Without a Shepherd, starring Joan Chen whose performance is “delightfully wicked” says AV Club.
Moving forward, Kino Lorber through its Artsploitation division will acquire all rights to 6-8 future theatrical titles per year to bring to market under the banner “Artsploitation, A Kino Lorber Company,” as well as numerous direct to digital and home entertainment releases. In addition, Kino Lorber will take over exclusive distribution of all previous Artsploitation titles for all digital media, home video, educational and repertory theatrical markets, adding to Kino Lorber’s distinguished library of over 4,000 acclaimed new and classic art house films. Previously Kino Lorber handled ancillary media distribution for Artsploitation as a third party label, as it continues to do for select other companies including Zeitgeist Films, Cohen Media Group, Greenwich Entertainment, Palisades Tartan, Virgil Films, Menemsha, Raro Video and more.
Ray Murray commented, “Artsploitation Films was formed in 2014 with the goal of presenting to North American audiences cutting edge international genre films with the vision and artistry of the best arthouse festival fare. For me, it has been exciting to grow our business and now I can think of no better company to take Artsploitation to the next level than Kino Lorber. I am certain that Richard and his strong team, veterans of the specialty film market, will expand the growth prospects while ever more boldly embracing the label’s daring programming focus. I am especially happy to begin working with the Kino Lorber team scouting for new film acquisitions.”
Richard Lorber, CEO and President of Kino Lorber said, “We’ve admired and even envied the unique niche Ray has carved for his cannily named Artsploitation. There’s nothing dicier than scoring genre bending gems that earn art house kudos while jolting with pure cinema thrills, as the best of his films do. Ray had the vision and nose to root out genre-art hybrids that for others fell through the cracks but for him bridged a divide. Now we’ve got him, his films and films to come in our corner. We’re thrilled to fire up Artsploitation as an ever more searing brand.”